Health

Get ready for the flu jab and other updates

Plus, what to do about hair loss, staycation inspo and the rise of wild swimming
Flu jab to the rescue
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Flu jab to the rescue

Did you know that over half of the population of England will be offered the flu vaccination this year? The Government recently announced that over 30 million will be encouraged to have the vaccination to prepare for a winter that could see the annual flu season coincide with a surge in Covid-19 cases. The programme will now also include the over-50s*, people shielding and those who live with them, and children in their first year of secondary school. Wondering if you’re eligible? Don’t worry: anyone who is will be contacted by the NHS. And in anticipation of high demand, Boots has its own Winter Flu Jab Service for your convenience and reassurance.

Shedding light on hair loss
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Shedding light on hair loss

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month, so what better time to talk about an issue that impacts so many? According to Alopecia UK, female-pattern hair loss affects around half of women over the age of 65, but can also strike younger.

Different kinds of hair loss and thinning can be driven by genetics, illness, hormone shifts, medications, nutrition deficiencies, rapid weight loss and even stress, according to Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley. ‘There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as hair loss is very individual,’ she explains. ‘However, you want to optimise each area that can affect your hair-growth cycle, such as health, nutrition, thyroid function, stress levels and scalp health, as well as the condition of your hair itself.’

Check in with your GP, pharmacist or a specialist for advice. You can also find coping tips from the NHS here.

Staycation inspo
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Staycation inspo

Many of us are holidaying closer to home this year, with the staycation biz facing record demand. Looking to swerve the crowds? Check out money.co.uk’s 2020 Safecation Report for the UK’s best social distancing-friendly hidden gems. Top of the list are the Gower Peninsula in West Glamorgan; Keswick in Cumbria; and the Scottish town of Kilwinning. Meanwhile, if you’re after a less-crowded beach, Coves Haven Beach in Northumberland is the least-‘Instagrammed’ one in the UK, according to a ShowerstoYou.co.uk survey. *Adds to the get-away-from-it-all list*

Going wild for swimming
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Going wild for swimming

With our usual swim facilities off-limits until recently, the popularity of wild swimming (aka taking a dip in a natural pool of water) has surged. In fact, the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) recently deactivated its location map because of concerns about overcrowding at swim spots. Want to test the water? The OSS recommends being honest with yourself about your ability and starting off with lakes, lidos and beaches that have lifeguards. Also research everything, from weather conditions to how accessible the location is. Check out these other starter tips.

*Over-50s will be eligible for the NHS vaccination from November 2020 or can choose to use the private Boots Winter Flu Jab Service before then.